If you suffer from acne, rosacea, redness or uneven skin tone you might want to pay attention to the ingredients in your skincare products. Inflammation, redness and even allergic reactions can be caused by an overabundance of chemicals in your facial products. Whenever possible, choose facial products that contain a majority of natural or organic ingredients. Many of these herbs are used today in anti-aging and anti-acne products like facial masks and all forms of cleansers, toners and moisturizers. There is a plethora of herbs to choose from, the following are some of the most predominant and effective.
Chamomile — This very gentle herb is ideal to replenish and enrich dry or sensitive skin. It’s bactericidal, anti-itching, and antiseptic properties help to refresh the skin and reduce swelling.
Chamomile contains phenolic derivatives, which have an antiseptic and healing quality, which is most helpful in relieving skin congestion. These soften the skin, making it an effective ingredient in any anti-aging cosmetic product.
Chamomile is an ideal ingredient to be used in general skin care, and especially where inflammation may be present, such as in various skin problems, including acne, irritation and other forms of rashes and skin complaints, plus the fact that it promotes granulation and cell regeneration.
Comfrey— Comfrey is a sweet, cooling herb with expectorant, astringent, soothing and healing effects. It reduces inflammation and controls bleeding. It contains allantoin (a chemical compound commonly used in lotions and creams) as well as high amounts of mucilage. It is a superb wound healing herb, but the pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) can be carcinogenic and also cause liver damage if ingested in large doses or too frequently.
Used externally for psoriasis, eczema, sores, varicose veins and skin ulcers, arthritis, sprains, bunions, hemorrhoids, sore breasts during lactation, and injuries, including fractures. It is particularly effective in slow healing wounds and to help repair tissue damage. Comfrey is used to stimulate growth of new skin cells.
Lavender—Is a great multi-purpose herb. It’s a skin healer; it stimulates cell growth, reduces inflammation, prevents scarring and balances the production of natural sebum or oil. It is antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory.
Green tea —Very beneficial for sensitive skin types by reducing inflammation and irritation in the skin. Wrinkles, skin sag and other signs of aging have been shown to benefit from Green tea. Green tea gets is power from polyphenols – which are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and help slow down signs of premature of aging.
Rosemary —Helps strengthen the capillaries and has a rejuvenating effect. It contains caffeic acid and rosemarinic acid - both are potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. The antioxidants contained in rosemary also help to protect your body’s cells from damage by free radicals.
Marshmallow —Is a flowering plant and it’s extracts have traditionally been used on the skin to treat inflammation. It’s an excellent therapy for skin rashes or eruptions. The rich, demulcent nature of marshmallow gives it soothing, moistening and calming properties on the skin.
Aloe vera —Stimulates cell renewal, has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The 20 amino acids it contains are the building blocks of cell tissue. It is beneficial for skin eruptions and for the treatment of bruises and burns. It is also a cellular regenerator.
Beta Carotene —Dermatologists use beta-carotene for its ability to increase cell turn-over and regeneration in the outer layers of the skin, making it effective for diseases and skin conditions. Topical application of beta-carotene in retailed skin care products can enhance the appearance of the skin by restoring suppleness and adding a “glowing” pigment that seemingly evens out the skin tone. Beta-carotene’s antioxidant attributes, such as sun damage protection, are used to prevent the signs of aging in the skin.
Mint— Mint has significant rejuvenating properties. It is an anti-pruitic and antiseptic, natural cleanser, alleviates, itching, infection, and sooths rashes or inflammation. It is a great addition for anti-acne and natural anti-aging skin care.
It is always best to use the herbs in their most natural form; fresh, dried, pulverized or diluted in common carrier oil, like almond, jojoba or hazelnut oil. You can also find many herbal options in essential oils, but use these with caution. The first rule of essential oil skin care is don’t apply undiluted oils directly to skin. They are super-concentrated, and can cause allergies or chemical burns if used undiluted.